Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Supports Hot Plugging SATA Disks!

I plugged in a 250 GB Seagate 7200.10 hard drive into my Feisty box this evening, and to my surprise, /dev/sdd appeared along with a bunch of stuff in my dmesg output. This is on an NVIDIA Nforce 4 motherboard.

[189006.364000] ata3: exception Emask 0x10 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x150000 action 0x2 frozen
[189006.364000] ata3: hard resetting port
[189013.280000] ata3: SATA link up 1.5 Gbps (SStatus 113 SControl 300)
[189013.328000] ata3.00: ata_hpa_resize 1: sectors = 488397168, hpa_sectors = 488397168
[189013.328000] ata3.00: ATA-7: ST3250620AS, 3.AAJ, max UDMA/133
[189013.328000] ata3.00: 488397168 sectors, multi 0: LBA48 NCQ (depth 31/32)
[189013.392000] ata3.00: ata_hpa_resize 1: sectors = 488397168, hpa_sectors = 488397168
[189013.392000] ata3.00: configured for UDMA/133
[189013.392000] ata3: EH pending after completion, repeating EH (cnt=4)
[189013.392000] ata3: EH complete
[189013.396000] scsi 2:0:0:0: Direct-Access     ATA      ST3250620AS      3.AA PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[189013.396000] ata3: bounce limit 0xFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF, segment boundary 0xFFFFFFFF, hw segs 61
[189013.400000] SCSI device sdd: 488397168 512-byte hdwr sectors (250059 MB)
[189013.404000] sdd: Write Protect is off
[189013.404000] sdd: Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
[189013.408000] SCSI device sdd: write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn’t support DPO or FUA
[189013.412000] SCSI device sdd: 488397168 512-byte hdwr sectors (250059 MB)
[189013.412000] sdd: Write Protect is off
[189013.412000] sdd: Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
[189013.416000] SCSI device sdd: write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn’t support DPO or FUA
[189013.416000]  sdd: unknown partition table
[189013.432000] sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi disk sdd
[189013.432000] sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 0

Windows Explorer List-style File Browsing in Linux

I believe my quest for the perfect GUI file manager in Linux has been fulfilled after I stumbled across a file manager named Thunar while playing with XFCE on my Ubuntu laptop. My most missed feature from browsing Windows file systems has been the “List” view. It’s is, very simply, columns of file names, with nothing else. The main file browsers of Gnome and KDE, Nautlius and Konqueror, suprisingly cannot do this, and while they come close with a lot of customization, they do not mimic Windows Explorer perfectly. Nautilus like to wrap really long file name, or only do one file per line, and Konqueror likes to add “…” to the end of long filenames, which makes it less than useful.

Thunar does both these things, and does this very quickly. Here’s a pic of what I’m so excited about (right click and hit “view image” to see the full sized pic):


Installing Django on Ubuntu 6.06

Steps for install Django on Dapper Drake with Apache2, MySQL5, and Python2.4 already installed:

  1. sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-python python-mysqldb python-docutils
  2. wget http://www.djangoproject.com/download/0.95/tarball/
  3. tar xfz Django-0.95.tar.gz
  4. cd Django-0.95
  5. sudo python ez_setup.py
  6. sudo python setup.py install
  7. start creating a Django app

Other notes:

  • python-setuptools included with Dapper is not recent enough for Django 0.95

My Firefox Extensions

Since I need to reinstall all my Firefox extensions due to a hard drive failure, I’ve decided to make a list:

  • del.icio.us firefox extension: A great addition to bookmarks. It hasn’t managed to replace them completely for me, but pretty much anything that would have landed deeper than one folder in my bookmarks menu now goes into del.icio.us.
  • Web Developer Extension: Building websites without this extension is like driving a car without tires.
  • Google Toolbar: First thing I do is hide everything except spellcheck and the form filling plugin. Those two functions make installing this worthwhile. I expect FF 2.0 to render the spellcheck redundant
  • Google Broswer Sync: Keeps the bookmarks which are not in del.icio.us up to date on my different computers. Also works great as a browser backup utility.
  • Forecastfox: because it’s nice to always know what the weather will be like tomorrow
  • Adblock: The ads that slow down my dual core system get blocked. Ads should never be allowed to use so much processing power that I can notice it.

How to Quickly move from Typo to WordPress

After what feels like forever without a stable release, I’ve decided to move back to WordPress. While there are some scripts out on the web to move everything over, I used the simple method, which appears to get everything except for comments and the splits in large posts. The procedure is quick:

  1. On Typo, go into the admin section, set rss feeds to 1000 or something high.
  2. On your computer, download your RSS feed to a text file (I used wget).
  3. On WordPress, go to import, choose RSS, and find the file you downloaded.

That’s it.

Create the Perfect Rails Server in 15 Minutes

I recently noticed that the next release of Ubuntu Linux will be one nice Ruby on Rails platform. After their last update of Rails itself, which brought the version number up from 1.0 to 1.1.2, Ubuntu 6.06 LTS now has all the current Rails tech built in. There is no need to search the web for all the pieces and compile package after package until finding one that works. Here are the highlights:

  • Rails 1.1.2
  • Lighttpd 1.4.11
  • MySQL 5.0.21 or 4.1.15
  • Ruby 1.8.4
  • Ruby-FCGI 0.8.6
  • Ruby-MySQL 2.7

This means that after a 10 minute server install of Ubuntu, one can uncomment the universe repo in /etc/apt/sources.list and issue the following command to setup at capable and competent Rails server environment:

sudo apt-get install ruby1.8 mysql-server rails lighttpd libmysql-ruby1.8 libfcgi-ruby1.8

Then copy your Rails app over and configure it in Lightty you’re off. Now to find a hosting company which supports Ubuntu…

Update: Rubygems can be useful, but it isn’t in the standard repos. Instead, I downloaded and compiled rubygems-0.9.0.tgz.

Update2: I removed the Ubuntu-supplied rails and instead used rails from rubygems.

Email Move Complete

I finally finished moving my email server from a self hosted setup to Gmail for Domains. There were three main parts of the move: configuring inbound email to end up on the Gmail servers, copying all my current email to Gmail, and then setting up local mail to be sent using Google’s SMTP server. The most time consuming part of the move was copying all my current mail over using a nice utility someone had written. Configing the DNS services and watching the changes propigate was the most interesting part of the move.

Postfix has been replaced with ssmtp on my server, and I now have a few extra CPU cycles and MB’s of memory to dedicate to Apache, Lighty, and MySQL.

Gmail for your domain!

Just got the coolest email ever:

Welcome to our beta test!

Thanks for helping us test Gmail for your domain! We’re excited to help you offer Gmail accounts with your domain.

Here’s how to get started:

While I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to give up controlling my own mail server, I’m actually excited about it now. I’ll no longer need to keep updating my postfix+cyrus+mysql setup, which will allow me more time with Apache, Lighttpd, and MySQL. Plus the constant struggle of slowing down spam is something I’d be happy of offload. The more I think about it, the less reasons I have for not moving. Space? 2 GB is more than enough. Ads? I’ll get less spam with Gmail, at least the ads will be targeted and not stupid, if they exist at all. IMAP access? The GMail web interface is just as effienct to work with, if not more, than Thunderbird. Plus standard Gmail has at least POP access, this may even offer IMAP, I guess we’ll see.

And then there are thing which are just better all around, such as the Gmail web interface vs Squirrelmail and the spam filter which just works vs. manual tuning of spam assassin. Time to go sign up.

New MySQL, new FrozenTech

I felt good about my current state of the RoR FrozenTech Store so I decided to roll it out tonight. I quickly realized I would have to upgrade my MySQL from 4.0 to 4.1, something I had been putting off for a while. I followed the Gentoo upgrade docs, and they worked perfectly, but it did take over an hour to compile the new version plus all the other stuff which depened on it. That was fine though, as Christina and I watched some episodes of Battlestar from season one which we had not seen.

After everything was done compiling, I restored all the databases, checked existing sites, uploaded new files, edited apache and lighttpd config files, and restarted every service a few times. The good news is that everything looks like it’s working the way it should. There’s still a lot of tweaking that need to be done to the store and the surrounding site, but I’m looking forward to it. The Ruby on Rails environment has been fun to work with.